Does the Maslow respect our freedom?

As a cliffhanger for 2017-2018:

Does the Maslow respect our freedom?

In the sense of the FSF.
I think yes, but who am I.

And if no, then why not? I think it would be a very good thing for all of us to get their endorsement.
Now they are known to be very strict. And maybe this question is to soon. Still i’d like to drop it in sooner rather then later.

don’t waste your time with them. Their endorsement isn’t worth it. (and in fact
will annoy some people)

but everything in the maslow is publicly available. The fact that some of the
motors are hard to get could cause them to not approve, but frankly, that’s
their stupidity talking.

David Lang

Could the availability of a motor be an issue? Hmmm.

FSF is indeed very strict In their case it’s a good thing as they aim pretty high. It just would be nice to have their endorsement. From my point of view the Maslow would be a very nice addition to that list.

It’s because people waste time on them that we have all the benefits of their work. They take a stand for a philosophy where others budge and bend and give up. It will indeed not be easy… :slight_smile:

Though with the mindset i see here on the forum this seems to be a good match.
I’m indeed a bit soon with suggesting this. But please keep this option in mind.

They also like to claim credit for other people’s work. They lost my respect
many years ago.

Their attitude that burning closed sourcefirmware into ROM is better than having
closed source firmware that’s in flash or loaded by the driver is beyond idiotic
and is a case of them twisting words to meet their goals of being able to
certify some devices, while not certifying others.

I do not want to encourage their stupidity if I can avoid it.

I think it is reasonable to look at the openhardware definintion and do the free
certification to add the logo to maslow (and it’s components)

certification is pretty trivial @bar would just need to fill out the form at

I see, that sounds indeed a bit strange. I have a more positive experience with FSF and negative experiences with entities that did not respect my freedom. And to stand up against those then you need to be very determent (is that the right word?)

I’m sorry to hear that you have a very negative experience.

FSF made a big difference in my life, it’s hard to find the right words, i can understand your position, though.

I’ve been involved with Linux since about '94 and so have seen them over a long

At first it seems like they are doing a lot of good, but they don’t
understand how to accept progress, instead they attack their friends as well as
those who are actually opposed to software freedom. The GPLv3 fiasco is a prime
example of them snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

The GPLv2 was a nearly perfect license, but rather than just addressing the
areas where it was questionable, they re-wrote the deal and introduced a lot of
incompatibilities (the linux kernel and Wine implement the windows SMB protocol,
but can no longer share code thanks to the GPLv3), and used it as a loophole to
re-license wikipedia content to a license that’s not compatible with any version
of the GPL (which means that if they’ve done that once, it provides
justification for any future FSF management to issue a GPL that allows stuff
under the GPL to be converted to another license)

Beyond writing a very good license, the FSF hasn’t actually produced much in the
way of meaningful code, they have taken credit for a lot of work done by others
(in some cases by convincing an outside project to become a FSF project, in
other cases by less honest means), and in recent years they’ve actually be
counter-productive in that they have been trying to force new products to be
less able to be changed in order to get their approval (in one case convincing a
project to make their device more expensive to include an extra ROM chip to
contain firmware rather than loading that identical firmware from flash or in
the driver)

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Wow @dlang, I had no idea. I did some googling and came across this video of Linux explaining why he’s against the GPLv3. He also has some very strong words against the FSF:

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With no disrespect intended to the large numbers who selflessly produce good products for personal satisfaction and no expectation of any reward beyond an occasional Thanks! Think of the contributors here.

The open source “movement” has, imho, too many competing fiefdoms with incompatible “licenses”, and massive snits over insignificant trivia.

My favorite license is “No guarantee, probably doesn’t work, use at your own risk”


I think about changing the thread topic. As it looks a bit strange now.

For a number of reasons i’m still on Stallmans side, but also willing to accept that Stallman could have done things a little different. Shit happens. The whole circus around GPL 2 and 3 seems to have many more aspects and far as i understand there where also good reasons for all the changes that led to v3. I guess it also the problem of gpl2 issues that made it impossible to do it right for everyone. Leaving GPL2 available and having GPL3 to address a couple of other important issues.

I don’t even have a background in software, i came across FSF from an entire different background with comparable issues. But the whole FSF movement turned me into a Debian user.
Later moving to Ubuntu since i simply didn’t have the time. And i needed an OS that was a little more complete.

hat said i’m having a very good feeling about Maslow and my freedom. Though i was not aware that GPL3 caused that kind of friction. And i certainly didn’t want to cause more friction.
This community is simply amazing.

@mooselake i also like the ‘use at your own risk’ licence. There are a few other cool ones out there. though they don’t define freedom as FSF does. Philosophy is a nice feature as well.

Looks like i opened a can of worms here in a way. But i’m happy to see how this leads to deeper insights into the matter. This sparked many brainwaves on the last day of this year. :slight_smile: Feels like my neurons started the fireworks a few hours to early. :smiley:

Best wishes for 2018 everyone!

for those worried about ‘open’ vs ‘freedom’ and that there is no ‘open hardware
foundation’ there is the Open Source Hardware Association

the logo I linked to earlier specifies the nuances of several degrees of
openness rather than just being one yes/no

the OSHA open hardware definition is:

Now, it is possible for someone to make something that’s fully open asdefined
above, and then lock down the firmware so it can’t be modified (although I think
you may be able to argue that that’s not providing all the needed software for
the device)

But frankly, I don’t care about that. If someone can make one from scratch and
include different encryption keys (or no encryption keys), that should be

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I apologize if I’ve come off too aggressively here, I’m pretty much in agreement with the ideals that the FSF claims to be following, but think they have lost their way when hardware starts getting involved

for more discussion of the GPLv2 vs v3 (with lots of links), you can start with

Open is not Free Its just open as is ‘cookie jar’ Not free as in freedom.
Freedom means not to be exploited by anyone at will
Open just results in ‘all you can grab’ if someone just wants to grab and take OSHW does not jump in to stand up for anyones freedom. And sure they don’t claim any of that. But FSF does and that makes them strong eventhough they have very big entities to challenge them.
And sure they make mistakes, even big ones. But non the less they stand for something and are not affraid to make things clear.
And i really hope they learn from their mistakes…

For Free Hardware i would like to see something similar as the four freedoms that RMS is fighting for in software. (eventhough for hardware there are a few differences)
In a way i now would like to pick @bar 's brain about this. But I think he want’s to focus his mind on the Machine itself.

FSF is probably not the best option out there to also care about hardware, but i’m glad they do care. Since none of the other options take freedom into the mix

Freedom’s just another word…

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I see you wrote that post when i was rambling in my own post

But no worries, David, I don’t see it as agressive, i try to learn about the underlying issues as the whole subject is far more complex as many realise and i’m happy to see some of those issues come to light.
And i also hope that it’s clear that i’m not aggressive about this. (eventhough it just got 2018 and sound like a warzone outside, what a waste of fresh air…)

Happy new year! :slight_smile: 10000 Chinese crackers for Maslow

Hardware is a beast on it’s own in the world of licenses. Far as i understood is that FSF does not go about hardware at all. but merely sees the design documents as things to license.

They are very aware of the differences when it comes to hardware, Still they chose to endorse hardware to show what hardware is build with freedom in mind. And that’s what i like about them.
They take the effort to endorse it eventhough it’s out of their scope.

Freedom is indeed a word.
A word that gets a lot of meaning once you experience the opposite of that.

The english language makes it a bit difficult as free is mainly associated with not having to pay.
Here in Europe we have a special word for that and call it ‘gratis’ And only use the word free when we speak about freedom.

…i’m starting 2018 way to deep hehe.

But that could actually be a good sign.

Plus 5 hours earlier than here. Happy New Year in a few minutes!

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That might have been too subtle but it’s explained in the song.

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The fact that the FSF will endorse hardware that has firmware burned into ROM,
but does not have that same firmware in flash (or downloaded from the computer
it’s attached to) puts them on the wrong side of the issue here.

They make the claim that they care that the user can do as much as the
manufacturer can after the device is sold.

But the manufacturer can never require the user to upgrade the firmware (other
than for compatibility with something online that they can force an upgrade to),
and closed source firmware that can be upgraded has the potential to be replace
by open/free firmware at a later point in time.

So by saying that firmware in ROM is every bit as good as opensource firmware,
they are taking exactly the wrong stance.

IMHO, that’s activly harmful and does more harm than their endorcement does

@mooselake it’s still downloading… feels like 14k4 modem speed. The cell network is swamped with newyears traffic…

how does the FSF stand up for anyone? The EFF stands up for various people, but what does the FSF do?

unfortunately, they seem convinced that they cannot make any mistakes, anyone who disagrees with them is just wrong

It will be very interesting to see what happens to the FSF after Stallman dies, he has been the driving vision behind it (even when he is so out of touch with normal people due to his insistence on being ‘pure’ that his statements don’t compute)

while it’s 12 instead of 4, what do you think is missing in the OSHA list?

I disagree, I think many of the 12 points listed directly address freedom.